From the Pastor’s Desk (1/20/2016)

Dear CSOPC brothers and sisters,

Thank you for your prayers for our Presbytery meeting in Dallas this past weekend.  I look forward to giving an update on the meeting in a few weeks during the Sunday school hour.  The Lord is doing great things in our churches in the Presbytery.  Good men are being examined and installed, new mission works are getting started, and there is a sweet collegiality among the brethren.  We are hopeful for what the Lord will do this year throughout our Presbytery.
  • Bible study TONIGHT at the VanTubergen’s home at 7:00.  Their address is 8803 Catawissa Drive, Houston, 77095. We will continue with our study in Zechariah.
  • This Sunday we will have a congregational meeting immediately following morning worship.  Plan to join us for this meeting.
  • Be on the lookout for a calendar of the Winter / Spring in the coming weeks.  There is much to be thankful for and to be in prayer for.
  • This week’s devotion (attached) is a reflection from Genesis 18 on the sovereign purpose of God!
God bless and I will see you this Lord’s Day!

From the Pastor’s Desk

Mid-week Devotional

“Is Anything Too Hard for the LORD”

Genesis 18:13-14, “The LORD said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old.’  Is anything too hard for the LORD?’”

“How can God work in this situation?”  “God could never save that person … he or she is too far down the path of sin?”  “I just don’t think God can ‘fix’ this.”  Perhaps you have asked these questions, or questions similar.  No doubt Abraham and Sarah were having similar thoughts as they were advancing well beyond child-bearing years … how would God’s promise to them of a child be realized?  “Maybe God was simply wrong on this one.”  “He almost always fulfills his promises, but with some he just can’t follow through.”  Of course those thoughts are absurd!  God is faithful!  All of his promises are fulfilled in Christ.  He is always at work in the lives of his children for their good and their sanctification.  A brief episode from the life of Abraham and Sarah in Genesis 18 makes this truth clear.

God had promised Abraham that he would be the father of a multitude (Gen 12:2; 13:16); and of course that requires Abraham and Sarah to have a son (Gen 15:1-6; 17:15-16).  Abraham and Sarah, however, were ‘well-advanced’ in years – well past the ‘normal’ age of childbearing.  Thus Abraham’s response in Gen 17:17, “Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, ‘Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old?  Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?’”  And again the Lord tells Abraham and Sarah that they will indeed have a son in one year’s time; and again – this time Sarah – responds with unbelief, “So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, ‘After I am worn out, and my Lord (Abraham) is old, shall I have pleasure.’”  To which God responds, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old.’  Is anything too hard for the LORD’” (Gen 18:12-14).  And of course we read in Gen 21:1-2, “The LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did to Sarah as he had promised.  And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which God has spoken to him (see Rom 4:16-22 for Paul’s commentary on this episode).”  Sarah doubts.  She hesitates.  She questions.  She laughs in wonder.  But God responds to her with an assertive and climactic rhetorical question.  “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”  And the implied answer?  “Absolutely not!”  God is sovereign!  He is the creator!  He is the alpha and the Omega!  He speaks and it is done!  He raises the dead!  He gives life!  He has conquered sin and death.  Is anything too hard for the LORD?  Indeed not!  Two final thoughts on this verse:

First, what this does not mean?  This statement of God’s power does not have in view any kind of logical absurdity such as: “Can God create a square circle?”  Or, “Can God create a stone too heavy for him to carry?”  Those are nonsensical questions.

But second, what this does mean?  It means that no redemptive purpose of God can be thwarted.  It means that the accomplishing and applying of redemption to God’s people will be fulfilled.  It means God works all things for the good of his people.  It means there is no situation so far gone in which God is not working for the good of his people.  It means all God’s sheep will hear his voice and will follow them.  It means that God will bring every one of his sheep home in glory to be with him forever!